DEVBLOG #2 – APRIL UPDATE
> WHERE WE’VE BEEN, WHAT WE’RE UP TO
Though it seems like we’ve been silent since our last batch of uploads, we have been at work on multiple fronts! In the span of the last few months, we spent a lot of time growing our team, working on important features and polishing what’s already done!
In this second DEVBLOG, we’re going to go through alot of these things; Gamemodes, Weapons, Equipment Roster, Camos, User Interface changes and Killstreaks will be on today’s menu.
However, before getting into the thick of these things, we want to take the time to clarify some points about the game’s current state: During the project’s lifespan, we always tried to show the world the most polished and finished material possible, which on the long term caused confusion about whether the game was in a “playable” state or not, and rightfully so. This is why we will try to showcase more rough and quote on quote “broken” and in-progress informations and material from this point in time, exclusively on our Discord server. That way, our community gets a better idea of the actual state of the game, and hopefully justifies all the time we spend working on it which ultimately translates to the time you spend waiting for a release.
> PARTY & WAGER MODES
Something we’re deeply fond of are Party modes. They create a fun and different experience, and coexist very well with our Credits system in the form of our custom Wager Matches, just like in the original Black Ops game. Party modes will be featured in a separate playlist, with a randomized mode and map rotation. They will also be available in Private Matches for some friendly-fun game-mode options, although the wagers will -quite obviously- be disabled.
Here is a list of all the Party modes you’ll be able to experience on the game’s release, with a select few available in the Wager Match rotation:
- All or Nothing
- Gun Game
- One in the Chamber
- Stick and Stones
- One Shot, One Kill
- Knives Only
- Michael Myers
We’re hoping to make a showcase video dedicated to some of these modes in the near future (looking at you, Infected). We’ll make sure to announce it when it comes!
> WEAPON UPDATES, INSPECTS & CAMOS
A huge part of the project consists of porting weapons from other Call of Duty titles, and as such, we ended up growing the development team in order to work on these items specifically.
Since we announced back in August about extending the inspection feature to standard weapons instead of just melees, a gap remained for the weapons that originally did not feature any. This is why a part of the weapons work now consists of adapating and creating inspect animations for said weapons, in order to make that feature universal and to avoid having both inspectables and non-inspecables as much as possible.
Also, a few changes has been made yet again to the weapons roster since last time; Here are the changes followed with a quick explaination as to why they’ve been made:
- The Ghosts Vector has been replaced with its MW2: Campaign Remastered counterpart. Ghosts weapons are especially difficult to port as the game used a rendering technique we commonly refer to as ‘Sub-division’. It (very basically) consists of using lower-polygon models to save resources, and artificially increase the poly count via the engine. This results in exported models ranging from good to very bad looking, depending of the weapon. The Vector being a tough piece of work since the start, we decided to switch to something that was simpler for us.
- The Black Ops 3 M16 has been replaced with the Modern Warfare: Remastered M16A4. We were not satisfied with the porting quality of that weapon at all, and made the weapon feel very odd to use. We really liked the style of the old-school M16, but it turns out the Black Ops 3 variant was a poor choice, so we went with a more modern-looking model. Though we will keep the old-school M16 in mind for a Signature Variant eventually.
- The Black Ops 3 Sten has been replaced by the Infinite Warfare Trencher. Same issue as the M16, the Black Ops 3 version of the Sten was of subpar quality compared to the rest, so we decided to replace it with something that will look a lot better.
- The Black Ops 3 Dingo has been replaced by the WWII Stinger (M1919). Though it was not nearly as bad as its fellow Black Ops 3 weapons, we still thought it was not fitting well with the rest of the roster. It was also very resource-consuming for what it was worth. The M1919 being a slow-firing machine gun was a perfect fit to diversify the selection of LMGs in the game.
- The Black Ops 3 Man-O-War has been replaced by the WWII AS-44. Ditto for this one; While the quality of the gun was acceptable, we felt like the Man-O-War did not sit right with the rest of the weapons. We went with something that’s not as iconic, but the AS-44 certainly feels much better, in terms of both gameplay and looks. Not to mention that the Assault Rifles category severely lacked WW2-era weaponry, so that change hit two birds with one stone.
- The World at War PTRS-41 has been added. This one is a bit special, as we don’t normally touch on World at War weapons, because the game using a unique approach to sprinting animations that isn’t compatible with other games, and also because they’re of much lower quality in general. But it is such an iconic weapon that we went out of our way to make all the improvements possible (normal mapping, animating…) to have this beauty on the roster. We’re very happy with the result, but like we said, this will be a one-off, do not expect more World at War weapons in the future.
- The Infinite Warfare Oni has been added. Even though it lacks its accelerating fire rate feature, it is the second energy-based weapon to join the weapons list, right after the “Freedom”. We thought the Machine Pistols category, while good overall, lacked something a bit more original, and the Oni was the perfect pick. This version features a steady rate of fire, and fires energy beams that can not penetrate walls.
We are also working on the implementation of camos: With each Call of Duty game having different ways to handle camos, we have to adapt the weapons’ images to use a mask, on which the camo itself will be applied. This is how the MW2 engine does it, and it is more than good enough for our use case. As for Gold, Chrome and animated camos, they work in a slightly different way we won’t bother explaining just yet.
We still have yet to figure a complete camos list, since the implementation of those it not fully done. We’re aiming to have the widest diversity possible, from solid colors to more “hip” designs, without forgetting fan-favorites and classic camouflage patterns… but this is something that will get decided only when we’ll be able to scale what the engine is capable of in terms of numbers.
> GRENADES & EQUIPMENT
We’ve made a lot of progress finishing up the functionality of the Lethal & Tactical equipment available recently.
- We’ve moved the Heartbeat Sensor to a Tactical equipment: One of our biggest issues with the original attachment implementation is that just about every weapon on our list didn’t originally support a Heartbeat Sensor, and would require all of its animations to be altered to prevent any clipping issues on the Heartbeat Sensor. This was especially an issue for reload and inspect animations. For this reason, we’ve decided to move it to Equipment instead.
- We’ve reworked the effects of Flash Grenades & Stun Grenades: The blinding effect of the Flash Grenade has been changed, the intensity now changes based off the angle at which the player is looking at the grenade. This allows you to look away from a Flash Grenade and avoid its effects. The Stun Grenade effect has also been touched up, we’ve decreased the intensity overall and significantly reduced the Tinnitus effect.
- The Trophy System has been implemented: We’ve made some initial efforts towards adding the most balanced version of this equipment we can. As it stands, the Trophy System can detect and destroy all Lethals (besides the Throwing Knife and Claymore), all throwable Tacticals (stuns, flashes, smokes), incoming fire from enemy launchers, and Predator Missiles. To make sure we didn’t go overboard on countering the Predator Missile, the detection range is quite small and only a very well placed Trophy System might defend you from an incoming missile.
- The Stim Shot has been implemented: Following the overwhelming amount of votes in favor of this addition, it has has finally joined the rank of the Tactical Equipments. The Stim Shot provides instant and fast health regeneration in a pinch, as well as a very brief speed boost – that lasts until the Stim Shot animation is done. We are still at the balancing phase of it: We’re fully aware that the Stim Shot is a very popular choice, but we want to make sure it doesn’t become “the default option”, and ensure that the rest of the Tacticals are still a viable choice.
> USER INTERFACE & HUD UPDATES
We’re constantly iterating on the current user interface and heads-up display, and while most changes are small refinements, we’ve made some changes worth noting lately.
- Updated Game Rules Menu: While not finalized, we’ve added far more options for customizing gameplay settings in Custom Games. This ranges from basic gameplay settings such as time limits, respawn delays to movement speed, gravity and more.
- New Score Bar: The score bar is a HUD element we have always been looking for ways to improve on as we weren’t quite satisfied. As one of the most important things during a game, it’s important we got it right. We’ve moved the score numbers to the center of the screen rather than at the ends of the score bar, and re-added the ‘xx POINTS TO WIN’ text. While not a huge update, we felt it necessary to keep you updated on as much as possible going forward, even with the small things.
- Music Tracks Menu: This is a small change that has been made a while ago, but we thought we would share it nonetheless. The list now shows a thumbnail of the game they’re from, and we added a few soundtracks, which cranks up the amount of available themes to 47.
- Performance Overlay: A feature that is still at its infancy, but becoming more and more important in this day and age. Inspired by the latest games, we want to provide a user-friendly and good-looking overlay to show important informations for you, the player. While MW2 originally had some of these features (e.g. “cg_drawFPS” dvar), they were displayed in a very primal and outdated way, hence why we wanted to integrate something much better looking and less obstructive.
Killstreaks have remained rather untouched until that point. But we are now working towards refreshing some of the existing killstreak rewards, as well as refresh existing ones. In order to achieve the “Assault/Support/Specialist” system we’re aiming for, alot of work has still yet to be done. But we are making some progress regardless:
- The War Machine has been added: Quite a controversial choice, we know. We felt that the ill-famed War Machine was such an iconic Killstreak/Scorestreak of the Call of Duty franchise that we thought about adding our own spin to it. Available as an Assault killstreak, this launcher will require quite precise aiming if you want it to do its job, as the area of the explosion is much smaller than even regular launchers.
- The AC-130 and Predator missiles have new interfaces and sounds: Some of the killstreaks that already exist in the game are due a good facelift after all these years. This is why we spent some time modernizing the interface with something original, as well as changing a few sound effects. However the way the streaks themselves used have remained rather untouched, so even if the looks are new, you’ll feel right at home using them.
- A Driveable Gunship is in the works: It is still in a VERY early prototyping phase, but a driveable helicopter in the likes of the original Black Ops’ Gunship is in the works. Sadly, with the BO and MW2 engines being relatively different in the terms of vehicle support, all of the “piloting” scripting has been made for the ground up, and is still in a very basic and primitive state. We are not sure whether it will stay like this and in what state, but as we’re still exploring different options for killstreaks in general, we thought we would share this regardless.